Wind energy company Infigen Energy plans to install a 52 MWh Tesla Powerpack battery energy storage system in South Australia.The battery system will be next to its 278 MW Lake Bonney Wind Farm near Mount Gambier. The Battery Energy Storage System (BESS) will cost around $38 million to build and install.
ARENA and the South Australian government will each contribute funding of $5 million towards the project. Once built, BESS will be connected to the National Energy Market. It will also enable Infigen to firm up an extra 18 MW of renewable supply.
Tesla Powerpack battery: a more reliabile energy supply
Infigen’s CEO Ross Rolfe said the project will allow the company to enter into additional commercial projects in SA, which he described as being “at the heart” of the company’s strategy. Rolfe added that BESS demonstrates Infigen’s progress in delivering on its strategy. This includes contributing towards improved energy security and reliability of supply.
SA Energy Minister Dan van Holst Pellekaan said the government is a strong supporter of battery storage to harness the state’s abundant renewable energy. He added that more battery storage will deliver lower prices to households and businesses.
Other options considered prior to BESS
According to an AFR report, Infigen examined other options to improve energy supply reliability, such as pumped hydro and gas. However, the company decided on battery storage because of the state’s dependence on renewable energy supply. The company also acknowledged that BESS would not have been possible for the company without the $10 million funding it received.
Battery energy storage systems shore up home supply too
Installing a storage battery in this way stores renewable energy such as wind and solar power for later use. This could be at night or during high electricity demand periods. This applies not only to commercial and industrial projects, but also to households and small businesses with solar installations.
With home solar battery storage in place, the solar power generated during the day can be stored and used after dark. This helps to improve clean energy reliability and supply on the home front, as well as drastically reduce electricity bills.